Email can get a little out of control at times. If you have accounts with multiple services, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and others, it can be a challenge to keep up with all of them, especially if you use their dedicated apps. One way to get on top of things is to use an email app that can bring all of your addresses to one place, with a single inbox becoming home to your multitude of messages.
You can add multiple accounts to Gmail, but Spark is one of our favourites for this job, as not only does it have apps for desktop and mobile platforms, but it also comes with a range of useful features and - handily - is also free.
So, here’s how to access all of your email accounts from one place by using Spark.
How to combine multiple email accounts using Spark
To get up and running with Spark, download the app from the iOS App Store, Google Play Store or Mac App Store. At the moment, the Windows version in under development, but you can register your interest on the Spark website.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, launch it and follow the instructions for setting up your first email account. With this done, tap the three lines in the top left corner and select Settings > Mail Accounts.
Now, tap Add Account, select the service you want to setup, then enter the login details. Once you’ve confirmed your information, all of your email from that account will now be blended into the existing ones in your main Inbox.
If you want to view individual accounts, this is still possible. Tap the three lines, then tap on the down-arrow to the right of Inbox. This opens up all of the accounts you have enabled. To see only emails from one of them, simply tap on it and that inbox will appear. To return to the unified version, tap the three lines and finally tap on Inbox.
Why should I use Spark?
While there are many apps that can handle multiple accounts, such as Gmail and Outlook, Spark has some additional capabilities that puts it ahead of the crowd. Plus, it’s completely free!
First off there’s the Smart Inbox that sorts arriving emails into sections that separate out personal messages, newsletters, already seen and other types. While Gmail does this, Spark keeps them all in the same feed, so you don’t have to switch between inboxes.
Of course, you don’t have to use Smart Inbox, as the standard Classic version just shows everything in the order that it arrives. To switch between the two modes, tap the toggle switch at the top of the page.
Pin and snooze emails
Our favourite feature is being able to pin specific emails so that they sit at the top of your feed until dismissed. This is perfect for those things you need to deal with and don’t want to lose in the general inbox. To pin an email, open it and tap on the drawing pin icon in the top right corner.
Should you wish to be reminded of an email at a more convenient time, there’s always the ability to snooze them so they reappear as new when you’ll have more capacity to answer them. Swiping on an email will automatically trigger the snooze feature and you can set the time or day that it returns via the quick menu.
Feeling inspired at 2am is one thing but sending an email and waking someone else up isn’t always the best way to get your message across. Spark allows you to easily schedule emails so that they are sent at more reasonable hours.
To use the schedule feature, look for the paper plane icon with a little clock face next to it when you’re composing an email.
Natural language search
Hunting down an email from someone when you can’t quite remember the details can be infuriating. Spark makes this a bit easier by employing natural language in its search engine, so you can type ‘attachments from Vicky’ and have all of them appear.
Spark has a variety of features that can be personalised to your own particular preferences. These include four different types of swipe that can be allocated to certain commands, plus widgets, a Sidebar, quick replies, multiple signatures and a good deal more.
We think Spark is an excellent way to manage your various accounts, but for more options try reading our roundup of the best email apps for Android, best free emails services and best encrypted email services.